Mammoth Saturday Reading

Mammoth Minumus

Mammoth Minumus

Last summer, the Center for Biological Diversity filed a petition with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service requesting that the grizzly bear, which is today found mostly in Alaska and Yellowstone National Park, be reintroduced into regions where it once thrived. Among the habitats proposed by the environmental organization was California’s Sierra Nevada. The last grizzly in California was spotted in 1924, and the effort to return the animal, which is emblazoned on the state flag, elicited both excitement and fear. But mostly fear. A charging ursus arctos horribilis can reach speeds of 30 miles an hour. It weighs up to 1,700 pounds. One resident of the Sierras, informed of the proposal by a reporter, put her hand to her mouth in shock. Another said that reintroducing the grizzly “would be like bringing back Tyrannosaurus rex.” After I read about the petition in the newspaper, the potential return of the grizzly stuck in my head for weeks, in part because it seemed so fantastical. Could we really bring back such large animals and set them loose in a land they hadn’t known for nearly a century? And if we did, what would happen?

These are the sorts of questions that consume Beth Shapiro, an evolutionary biologist who takes the fantastic to a higher level with her new book, “How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction.” Shapiro, an expert in “ancient DNA,” won a MacArthur Award in 2009 at the age of 33, and she and a band of pioneering scientists have been on a mission to “de-extinct” animals, a project that she argues has “great potential” in the fight to conserve existing species and habitats.



About Den

Always in search of interesting things to post. Armed with knowledge and dangerous with the ladies.
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15 Responses to Mammoth Saturday Reading

  1. Den says:

    BIG STORY today, another entry to the pachyderm family to be exploited,
    hey, were’re humans,
    it’s how we roll.


  2. jimhitchcock says:

    Driving that train, high on insane, Casey Jones you better, watch your speed.


  3. David B. Benson says:

    I have a rain forest parka so I never get wet except on the lower legs. But no sooner had I started walking but it stopped raining.


  4. David B. Benson says:

    Michael Moore has a fine article the the 150th anniversary issue of The Nation, April 2015.


  5. Den says:

    Did not need an umbrella here, things have returned to the normal Sunny and mild, mid 70’s expected until late next week, saves on umbrellas which I don’t have.


    • jimhitchcock says:

      Excellent, DB. Thank you for that.

      Den, I don’t know that I’ve ever let you know how much I enjoy your daily posts, but I do. They’re just another thing my pal Carol has gifted me with.

      Just starting 10 days of vacation, forgive me if I’m coming off as a bit giddy 🙂


      • Den says:

        Thank you very much, giddy up!


      • º¿carol says:

        Gee, THANKS, Jim! I’m happy you’re happy.

        Are one of the “things,” my pressure on you to use Facebook??? I see you’ve been commenting on a lot of things John Mertz posts. That makes ME happy. John Mertz is one of my favorite people. Never met him, but love how he thinks.


  6. º¿carol says:

    Uh, oh. Trouble brewing with my XP computer. That’s the one I do all my important stuff on, greeting cards, photoshopping, video making….I think the hard drive is going. Having trouble booting it up suddenly. Come Monday morning I’m taking it into town to the computer geek.

    I transferred a lot of my current spread sheets to this computer, less to lose that way and I really should be using THIS computer for stuff like that, like for my Microsoft Excel programs.

    I just shut down my XP, I’ll be scared to try to boot her up tomorrow. Maybe I should leave it until I take it in Monday.


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